Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Hymn for Ascensiontide

This is a Latin hymn of unknown origin, translated into English in 1861, according to the BCP.
The fourth verse is most striking:

O Lord most high, eternal King,
By Thee redeemed Thy praise we sing;
The bonds of death are burst by Thee,
And grace has won the victory.

Ascending to the Father’s throne
Thou claim’st the kingdom as Thine own;
Thy days of mortal weakness o’er
All power is Thine forevermore.

To Thee the whole creation now
Shall, in its threefold order, bow,
Of things on earth, and things on high,
And things that underneath us lie.

In awe and wonder angels see
How changed is man’s estate by Thee,
How flesh makes pure as flesh did stain,
And Thou, true God, in flesh dost reign.

Be Thou our Joy, O mighty Lord,
As Thou wilt be our great Reward;
Let all our glory be in Thee
Both now and through eternity.

All praise from every heart and tongue
To Thee, ascended Lord, be sung;
All praise to God the Father be
And Holy Ghost eternally.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Feast Day of St Athanasius

Today is the feast day of St Athanasius in the Western tradition, and I am reminded of how highly T. F. Torrance regarded this Father of the church, particularly for his insistence that the Holy Spirit, like the Son, is homoousios (consubstantial) with the Father. A friend who studied with Torrance in Edinburgh said that Torrance's practice was to set up an icon of Athanasius at the front of the classroom when he lectured, and it became difficult to tell who was speaking--Torrance or Athanasius! (There's a Torrancian/Barthian parable here re: witnessing to what is other than ourselves . . .)